2223 posts • joined 6 Nov 2009
We have now reached the point where there is a market............
....................in patents as if they were independent financial instruments with all that implies. Most particularly it means that large amounts of speculative money are being used to trade in a *commodity*, something patents were never originally envisioned as. In practice it means that a large amount of venture capital is being applied to parasitising the industries affected instead being available to contribute to driving innovation and development. The VCs appear in increasing degree to see this as a lower risk because they are investing in enforcing ownership of what already exists. Unless the patent system is reformed in such a fashion that speculating in patents as a commodity in themselves is severely restrained, this development will utterly strangle industrial innovation. A situation where it is extremely attractive to invest in and enforce the status quo is no recipe for innovation and progress. The current situation bids fair to ensuring that the industrial/economic system starts to stagnate completely in a mire of competing civil court cases where the competition is not over what you can make but over what you own. The principal of ownership is of course central to our economic system, however, how that is expressed and how your are permitted to enforce it is crucial in driving forward the systems "creative destruction". Unless we do something about this there is going to be far too little creation and far too much destruction with the result that we may very well see the patent system doing to society what the banking system has been doing in recent years. The price is likely to be a *very* steep one.
RE "even this phone will face some stiff competition from apple."
Possibly not, especially if an even more freshly baked set of rumours are to be believed. From the update to the article in the link:
"...............that 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD display mentioned above is just about the only spec to make the final cut. The processor, however, is more likely to be a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos (that's right) with an accompanying dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics chip. That rear facing camera? Try 8 megapixels with a newly beefed up sensor. The handset should also ship with a girthy 2,050mAh battery fully capable of juicing this apparent LTE / CDMA / GSM Android monster."
"just as there's nothing to prevent the Sun-reader reading the Telegraph or the Guardian."
Being near illiterate might hinder them somewhat.
RE "Don't feed the trolls": I entirely agree, we should just say............
RE "RIP" Indeed, far too young.
When he did not make an appearance at the presentation of the iPhone4S a couple of days ago I got the feeling that something was wrong. Respects and condolences to his family.
@Richard C. RE "Voice recognition...............
.......................(speech to action and text to speech for navigation and others): Ditto"
Indeed, and what is more you do not have go online to use those facilities with your GSII nor I with my Desire Z in contrast to the new and magical iPhone 4S where the eager purchaser will rapidly discover that "Siri" doesn't "just work" unless you are logged on. In fact it does not work *at all* without being online.
@AC RE "Oh, please.... have you ever worked in a mobile phone shop?........
.......The vast majority of punters don't care about specs."
Interestingly enough *Apple* care about specs and benchmarks in their marketing. They made a big thing about comparing the 4S yesterday with several (carefully "selected") phones from the main OEMs when highlighting how "magical" the 4S (in their opinion) is. The ordinary punter may not care about the details but he/she is influenced by the reputation a phone gets - as Apple is well aware. This kind of thing is of course aimed at the media in general and reviewers in particular in order to influence the general impression that the public get. Like I said in my posting, *that* aspect of the marketing is in the process of getting significantly harder for Cupertino.
@The Infamous Grouse RE "Siri" That indeed is what makes the launch.......
.............of this iteration of the iPhone rather less than lustrous. This was supposed to be the key software "goodie" with the 4S - the "magical" component this time round. At a time when demand for wireless bandwidth is skyrocketing, the investment in expansion of the necessary bandwidth is in no way keeping up with this and (crucially) "all you can eat data-plans" are going the way of the dodo Apple's big software/service gig for their new shiney is cloud-dependent in order to function at all! As far as hardware is concerned (with the sole exception of battery life) the 4S is behind the GSII and by the time the iPhone5 is *actually* released Sammy will have released the GSIII (or whatever they call it) and the iPhone will be behind the pace again. We are now reaching the point where the iPhone is no longer in any sense groundbreaking but is merely one of several well built smart-phones and *that* fact is going to present Apple with some marketing challenges over the next year or so.
Let me see now. Companies love the single market except when they.........
............can make more by rigging individual markets. Or have I misunderstood something?
@Justin Clements RE "$50 loss"
I would not assume too much based on one set of analysts' guesstimates of the Fire's production costs. I have seen at least two other sets of figures putting it at on or around cost price. My personal gut feeling is that a fifty dollar hit sounds a bit too much - just my *guess*.
It has often been suggested that careers in management tend to...........
............attract sociopaths. If one needed any confirmation that that hypothesis has something going for it, this report would provide it. If it were legally possible the judge should have remanded that sucker for psychiatric evaluation before delivering the judgement. Some of these bosses should definitely be amongst the first up against a wall when the ect ect......
@Eponymous Cowherd RE "Demographics"
Likely right if we are talking about the Android os as a whole. Certainly if you were to include the San Francisco and the like (though you would probably have to go outside Android and include RIM's Blackberries to cover the ram-raiding graphic!) one could argue that the "working classes" had been included. Indeed one could if one was feeling mischievous have a lot of fun with the social/class demographics here. How about "The worker's flag is deepest orange" or, even better, the hymn of the upwardly mobile fanboi, "The working class can kiss my arse, I've got my iPhone5 at last"!
@Eponymous Cowherd I have to agree here
When one is conducting this type of survey where the researchers wish to be able to draw *general* conclusions about Homo Sap it is by definition essential to ensure that the population you are measuring is not heavily skewed in one direction or the other. If I were to guess I would say that the population of iPhone owners is at the very least skewed towards higher income groups and very likely culturally skewed in other ways and this is almost certainly the case with owners of high-end smartphones in general. Another example of a fine candidate for the Ignoble Prize.
re I'll show you mine
The problem with that is that *no* example of "BigCorp" will disclose anything where they gain commercial advantage from secrecy unless the law requires them to do so. IMHO discosure should mandatory in law to scupper this poisonous game of liar's poker that these companies play. However, applying NDAs to these patent agreements is currently wholly legal - unfortunately.
A hypothetical situation.
Let us just imagine that "A Major Software Giant" decided to to buy themselves a large OEM such that they became a combined os *and* pc producer. They then set up their own dealer network and proceeded once they were doing well to destroy the basis of the business of all other retailers who had hitherto sold their products. I wonder what we would be seeing on many threads here at El Reg in response to that? One thing I am absolutely sure of is that *if* a certain company based in Redmond, Washington were to do such a thing there would be few if any postings here defending that behaviour and a huge number of postings (my own included) strongly criticising it. In the event that Cupertino's products continue to dominate the tablet market what they will end up with is owning that whole market from end to end. production of os and hardware, wholesale, retail you name it. Even at their worst behaviour in the 90s MS were never able to sew up the pc market in that way. Apple do make very good kit, I do not deny that for one split second. However, we had better hope that competitors in that pad market manage to up their game because if they do not then tablet space will become a wholly owned subsidiary (in *all* its parts) of Apple Corp. One would have to be a *seriously* uber fanboi to welcome that outcome.
"No joke alert necessary"
Weeell, I did not want to offend the good citizens of Essex by impugning their ethnic folk-ways.
"......is typified by birds falling over........and colliding with things......."
Sounds like Saturday closing time in Basildon to me.
"Users of Google's Chrome browser are in an uproar..............
..............after antivirus software from Microsoft classified it as virulent piece of malware that should be deleted immediately."
Yes, and your problem is?
@Blem wit: So, nobody who does not share your view of life and how............
..........we humans should or do interact is hard-working, honest and respects achievement? You undoubtedly represent why certain "types" took over in the model described in the article.
RE: "Effing Commies" Hi Ghengis old chap, how are you and Attila hanging......
........these days? Oh and by the way, next time you see Adolph do give him a big heil from me - you know how it cheers him up.
These kinds of studies amuse me.
Their own unconscious assumptions (political, social etc.) did not in any way influence or bias the model? I am not accusing them of dishonesty, I am just amused that they appear to believe that this kind of modelling can have any pretensions to scientific objectivity (a very difficult thing to attain even in the so-called "hard sciences"). The joke icon? Just my comment on this kind of "research".
@AC RE "who cares" Well, actually old chap I am pretty certain that.......
............quite a lot of us manage to be both interested in tech *and* get laid regularly. What your problems may be however..............?
@James Hughes 1 RE "Quite" Indeed, I am somewhat at a loss to..........
..........understand why my post was apparently so "controversial" for a couple of people. I recall that HTC recently decided that locking the bootloader was more trouble that it was worth. Well, anyway it is up to Amazon to decide whether they want the grief or not but whatever happens it will be rooted and custom ROMs installed by very happy enthusiasts. After all at that price you would be smiling, wouldn't you!
+++ath0@ RE "Not sure why you say Amazon can have a very relaxed attitude to this, "
Well, I did include in brackets "if they are sensible". Furthermore I made the point that only a small percentage of their customers are going to do this and so (as others have pointed out) it would be a waste of effort and money locking it down. I also made it pretty clear that IMO it will be rooted *however* hard they try to prevent it - the temptation will be way too much, with the result that Amazon will achieve nothing. The people who have the knowledge/inclination to do this will do it, end of.
Locked bootloader or no locked bootloader.........
..............it will be rooted in no time flat and if the custom ROM boys are not already cooking something up I'll eat my hat *and* yours. Amazon can after all afford to have a very relaxed attitude to this (if they are sensible). When it comes down to it how many of their customers are likely to do this, percentage-wise? It will simply generate even more "buzz" round this iteration of their Kindle line.
@Dazzza I think you likely have a point.
Given that Samsung are *plenty* big enough to show Microsoft the middle finger there is more going on here than meets the eye. There have been a number of indications recently that there are elements of cross-licensing and cross-discounting in these agreements. How much it has actually cost the various parties concerned *net* when all the bookkeeping is done and dusted is impossible to tell from the publicly available information. I also have to say that Tony Hoyle's point (which you re-emphasised) that the real losers on this merry-go-round are those companies who do not have cards to play with at the outset is something I entirely agree with. Though it does have to be pointed out that if one chooses to go into manufacturing something based on existing technology you are almost certain to end up having to pay patent royalties to *someone* regardless of which industry you are in, not just the mobile-phone business. I also have to say that whilst one *maybe* can make a case for certain elements of commercial confidentiality it should, IMHO, be directly illegal to conceal which patents are involved and what the legal basis of the settlement is. The current system seems to generate a large game of liar's poker that is not healthy for anybody - least of all the poor bloody punter who ends up paying the price (literally) for all these shenanigans.
RE: "Deja Vu?" That is all this thread needed to be complete.........
..........yet another drive-by MicroShill accusation.
Ahem. You kind of blew your own point with.............
..............that last remark about France.
I am not going to argue over this point...............
...........I simply chose two examples (one classic, one modern) of how trademarks come *into* the language as a contrast to an attempt to shanghai parts of our language and treat them as corporate property.
In the event that you make a very successful product........
........your brand name or something associated with that product may be taken *into* the language. The classic example is of course to "hoover" and in modern times, to "google". However what Apple are trying to do is to take something *from* the language - the courts should give them a very dusty reply.
RE "Just a thought"
"if you post zero Apple stories for a full, and I mean full, month you maychance get your invites back."
Nothing short of several years of brown-nosing of the sort you can see virtually daily at, for example, the Graun's tech site would have any effect. El Reg is on Cupertino's shit list - you can judge a web-site by their enemies. In common with very many examples of BigCorp Apple is totally anal about being in any way, large or small, dissed.
RE: "The carriers do not like hotspots regardless of the os. "
An addendum to my previous post. It appears that all *new* phones released 'with* mango will be capable of tethering if (in common with iPhones and Android mobs) the carrier permits it. It is only currently existing WP7s that (at the present) that will not be able to use that facility.
The carriers do not like hotspots regardless of the os.
"There are, however, plenty of other features that can be used only if the network operators let you. The most desirable, enabling the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five users, is likely to come at a hefty fee from many providers."
I seem to recall that relatively recently the US carriers started to threaten customers who did this with various penalties if they did not buy a plan that included a fee for this facility. Currently I believe that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all charge for tethering in one way or the other and customers risk punishment if they tether without permission.
From Sprints terms and conditions:
"Except with Phone-as-Modem plans, you may not use a phone (including a Bluetooth phone) as a modem in connection with a computer, PDA, or similar device. We reserve the right to deny or terminate service without notice for any misuse or any use that adversely affects network performance."
This has nothing to do with whether you run iOS, Android or WP7, the carriers are just being their usual selves - nothing to do with Redmond, Cupertino or Mountain View on this occasion.
RE: "Yeah well"
"i doubt he wrote his stuff using 9 character strings and then randomly collating them much like a jigsaw."
It is also to be hoped that he did it without without flung faeces.
As to being serious I suggest you read your own post again.
The Galaxy S II 16 Gb (depending on where you buy it) is about £50 or 10% cheap*er* than the 16 Gb iPhone4 - that makes it *competitively* priced, not cheap. I have also had hands-on time with one very recently and I can only describe your use of the word "crap" as fanboi trolling.
@LeBourfCurtaine You certainly have a point.
According to Apple themselves they had sold a total of all iPhones of 108 million as of March 2011.
However, if this *is* correct and the figures for the Galaxy S II are *also* correct we can readily see why Cupertino have been experiencing a brown-trouser moment because it implies that Samsung have managed within a few months to generate sales equivalent to 9.25% of *all* the iPhones ever sold as of March this year with only *one* model. As I said earlier on this thread I do not believe we need to search further for the explanation for Cupertino's "legal" war.
Only the most diehard Apple supporter can now be in any doubt.........
.............as to why Apple started their current legal war against Samsung. This is the first time that another phone is perceived by Cupertino as a serious threat to the successful launch of a new iPhone. The original Galaxy S was a warning shot and Apple realised that its follow-up would likely give them a real challenge.
@RegGuy RE "What do you mean"? 57 actually, not 157 .......
....that much of an "old-timer" I am not! Careless phraseology on my part. -:)
@Moz. Just a suggestion......
.........but what about stripping them of their registration if the site is clearly inactive for a given period of time? In other words, "use it or loose it". In the Old West when you staked a claim I seem to remember that you lost it if you failed to work it - could apply the same principle here.
@Mark 65 RE: "Never underestimate the ability of adults to behave like teenagers"
I am very much afraid that you have a point there!
@M Gale "Not often I suggest throwing the book at someone"
I have to say that it sounds like teenage kids to me rather than "adults". The mentality behind that kind of spoof, the importance of the game to them - and the cheating followed by getting indignant at those who have caught you at it. This probably precludes your excellent suggestion at the end of your piece. Where they *are* adults I wish that I really was in a position to suggest the scorpion pits!
RE: "Light speed comms is so last week."
Or maybe last week, this week and next week - all at one and the same "time".
Re: Simple solution
Your suggestion is straightforward, relatively easy to administer (and thereby cheaper to collect), consistent and fair to all concerned. I regret to say that that probably dooms it from the start. -:)
Re: "On the other hand." I agree with your point, the problem is...........
........the only practical answer to all those locally varying sales taxes would be a federal sales tax which would then be redistributed back to the states. Problem with that is that the individual states would sooner gnaw their own legs off than surrender *any* control over sales taxation.
Re "Right. Ok. So what?" I do most sincerely hope that you are not...........
...............any kind of manager/employer. If you are then you are undoubtedly the type of manager/employer who gives workers every good reason to join a trades union.
Creationists say: "Evolution is only a theory"
There is of course bad reporting El Reg and this whole business about misunderstanding what a scientist means when he uses the word "theory" (ie Something for which there is substantial evidence but which we must continue to "destruction test" - and indeed is formulated in such a fashion that it *can* be tested) and the way the word "theory" is used in everyday colloquial speech where it really means what a scientist means when he uses the word "hypothesis". However there are those who *deliberately* blur the differences between those two usages *and* claim that because scientists say at the outset that no theory is set in stone that shows that the theory concerned is only a hypothesis (although they use the word "theory" when making that argument). The creationists are one of the very worst examples of this kind of deliberate obfuscation using it as they do to conceal the fact that their hypothesis about the Origin is completely (as formulated) untestable and at the same time they exploit the confusion generated to claim, for example, that the theory of human evolution and creationism should have equal status in the classroom. In other words I wish it was just "simplistic and ignorant" reporters and other members of the "great unwashed" who failed to understand the concept of scientific theory, testability/falsifiability and the difference between "theory" and "hypothesis" - it is not. There are some heavyweight religious/political fundamentalists out there who deliberately run their propaganda campaigns by wilfully confusing these issues.
"...reluctant to speculate on who might be behind the attack or their motives..."
Funny how such people never seem in any way reluctant when they think the Chinese are involved hmm?
RE: "M$ could end up in seriously big trouble here"
Indeed they most certainly would. It is impossible to believe that the competition authorities in Europe or in the US would sit still for this - the row would be unbelievable. However that is perhaps the point? The article does not quote MS on this subject or indicate whether any attempt to contact them has been made. I for one would be *very* interested in how Redmond would react to this accusation. If MS actually *wanted* to give Win8 the worst possible start they could scarcely have chosen a better way to do it - and it is precisely that point that causes me to have some reservations about this story. Not because I am under any illusions as to what MS might *like* to do if they could get away with it, I just have some difficulty believing that they would think that they *could* get away with this.
@HP Cynic: Can I perhaps be permitted in a fraternal spirit and in the light of what........
..........you have just posted to suggest that you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy SII before you decide? -:)
Shareholders and rational expectations.
The current share-price that Apple can command is a *relatively* new phenomenon (the last six/seven years or so - I believe?) and is heavily dependent on them maintaining the iPad/iPhone driven hegemony in the mobile communications/computing market. How rational and realistic is it to believe that that dominance will continue on the current scale? If some of Microsoft's investors really believe that that kind of rocket-like capital appreciation is something they can rationally say that they are "entitled" to then they should get out more. I say this without any comment on either Apple or Microsoft as companies.
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